Willy weka rides again . . .

LETTER

I endorse neighbour Brett Loffler’s comments (Sightings hint at revival of ‘iconic bird’, January 30 story), the weka are slowly coming back. They have survived in very small numbers in the Rakauroa Scenic Reserve and the Otoko Hill Reserve.

My neighbour the late Dooley Delahunty always had a few on his place, and he used to feed them with bread etc from outside his kitchen window.

We have had a pair in our macrocarpa reserve and stream, Hihiroroa North, for almost a year now. Hopefully they will move, or have moved, upstream about 500 metres into our 20ha QEII National Trust native reserve that contains good shelter and a clean, running water stream.

A pair have also moved into our house garden. It’s good to hear their call — it has not been like that in about 30 years.

Our fencer, the late Pom Hemi, had a fox terrier that used to catch them from inside the roadside culverts. He could camp on-the-job for weeks with clean spring water and weka meat.

I believe a virus must have wiped them out, or the potash or some mix of fertiliser maybe. Dooley Delahunty never used fertiliser.

Whatever, let’s hope we can get them back as they were — weka call and all.

Most of you will not believe me, but when they were numerous and a nuisance I saw one running across our lawn with a full-sized hen’s egg in its beak. Honest . . . and I was sober.

Willy weka rides again. We hope.

RAYMOND NEWMAN

I endorse neighbour Brett Loffler’s comments (Sightings hint at revival of ‘iconic bird’, January 30 story), the weka are slowly coming back. They have survived in very small numbers in the Rakauroa Scenic Reserve and the Otoko Hill Reserve.

My neighbour the late Dooley Delahunty always had a few on his place, and he used to feed them with bread etc from outside his kitchen window.

We have had a pair in our macrocarpa reserve and stream, Hihiroroa North, for almost a year now. Hopefully they will move, or have moved, upstream about 500 metres into our 20ha QEII National Trust native reserve that contains good shelter and a clean, running water stream.

A pair have also moved into our house garden. It’s good to hear their call — it has not been like that in about 30 years.

Our fencer, the late Pom Hemi, had a fox terrier that used to catch them from inside the roadside culverts. He could camp on-the-job for weeks with clean spring water and weka meat.

I believe a virus must have wiped them out, or the potash or some mix of fertiliser maybe. Dooley Delahunty never used fertiliser.

Whatever, let’s hope we can get them back as they were — weka call and all.

Most of you will not believe me, but when they were numerous and a nuisance I saw one running across our lawn with a full-sized hen’s egg in its beak. Honest . . . and I was sober.

Willy weka rides again. We hope.

RAYMOND NEWMAN

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lloyd gretton - 2 months ago
Great, the weka, the Maori poultry, is coming back. I recall them on our orchard. We used to pen them and get DoC to remove them them to reserves. DoC would take weeks to do it. And then they disappeared.

Anne Salmond - 2 months ago
Today we saw a pair of weka run across the road into Donner's Bush on Riverside Road. When we were kids in Grant Road, there were always weka calling at night by the river - and now it looks as though they're coming back.

Phil Hunt, Picton - 2 months ago
Weka are seen in the wild all over the Marlborough Sounds. In Victoria Domain, Picton. Whites Bay, Port Underwood, Abel Tasman Track, and almost everywhere else in the area. They have, unfortunately, been fed by humans (never feed any wildlife), so if you have a picnic, they are sure to arrive! Similar to seagulls!
A note about feeding any wildlife: they are OK on their normal diet, but by feeding them things like bread, chips etc you are intruding on nature. Eventually in some areas they may come to rely on humans. Think polar bears in the Northern Hemisphere. This probably leads to death in some cases. I know children love to "feed the ducks", better to educate them about nature!

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